In this blog we discuss the best cities in Australia to move to. If, like thousands of expats each year, you are planning a move to Australia, this should help you decide on the best location for you. Australia is known for having a high quality of life, with its long stretches of beaches, sunny cities, and laidback lifestyle. It’s no wonder that around 2 million permanent migrants have relocated here since 2000 and that cities in Australia have topped the list of the most liveable cities in the world for many years. Australia has been listed 13th in the world’s largest economies, an economy that has gone nearly 28 years without a recession, and that has an unemployment rate of only 5%. So, as well as the sunny weather, there will be an abundance of job opportunities for you to snap up, should you decide to move to Australia.
Best Cities in Australia: Sydney
Sydney was ranked 5th in the Economist’s Global Liveability Index in 2018, as Australia’s largest and most populated city, Sydney definitely boasts a diverse community and international network. You will be in good company due to the large number of internationals that relocate there year on year. The city is well connected through its transport hub, which includes Sydney’s Light Rail network, the NSW TrainLink, and Sydney Buses that travel through the city and beyond. You can sign up for an Opal card and top it up with money, so that you can use it on any of Sydney’s trains or buses.
Sydney is known for being a pricey city to buy a house in, but there is a property downturn happening at present, so it’s good news for current buyers. House prices have fallen by 11.5 per cent over the past 12 months in Sydney and there are reports of larger and more widespread falls throughout 2019. There is an ongoing community strategy in Sydney called Sustainable Sydney 2030 which is a 10-year development plan that aims to see the further progression of a dynamic, environmentally sustainable, and liveable city (including affordable housing). Further accessibility to Sydney for prospective relocators is, therefore, on the horizon and is set to create even higher demand for the city. Suburbs in Sydney that are in high demand include Birchgrove, Killarney Heights, and Allambie Heights. Areas close to the city centre that are becoming more attractive for young professionals include Paddington, Balmain, Surry Hills and Newtown.
Sydney is reported to represent 7% of Australia’s economy and generate over 437,000 jobs, with key business districts in Sydney including Macquarie Park, Olympic Park, and North Sydney. A $750 million development has also just been announced for the Macquarie Park that will create 83,368 sqm of office and retail space.
Best Cities in Australia: Melbourne
The fact that Melbourne has for 7 years held the top spot in the most liveable cities in the world rankings, having only dropped by one spot to second position in 2018, says it all really. In a 2017 report Melbourne won the accolade of top cultural destination in Australia, the third top cultural destination in the Asia Pacific region, and twelfth in the world. To this day it is still seen by many as Australia’s Cultural Capital. The city celebrates an array of different cultures and communities through festivals like Chinese New Year, Thai Culture & Food Festival, and Melbourne Queer Film Festival, to name but a few. Whilst Sydney offers the glitz and glam of The Opera House and The Harbour Bridge, Melbourne is host to a more low-key and laidback laneway culture. The streets of Melbourne are home to many laneways with a young and hip feel as they are rich with culture, art, creativity and entertainment. Spend your days off strolling around Melbourne’s laneways and you’ll be sure to find many hidden gems.
The most up-to-date economic profile of Melbourne shows that there are over 460,000 local jobs, 7.91 million m2 of office space, and 1.56 million m2 of retail space. The central business district in Melbourne covers the areas in and around Flinders Street, Queen Victoria Market, Spring Street, and La Trobe Street, where there are office, retail, and entertainment facilities for workers and visitors. You can make use of the city’s free tram zone to get around these areas. Melbourne’s residents can also use a Myki card for public transport that goes further Melbourne and regional Victoria, which you can buy and top up when necessary.
The Docklands is a primary place to live for young professionals, as it is close to the central business district and the city centre, and it has many up-market and trendy apartments. Another primary location is Richmond, for those looking for a young and trendy area that boasts a lot of character. North Richmond on Victoria Street is home to an international community and, therefore, cuisines and entertainment from many different cultures. It has been titled ‘Little Saigon’ because of its Asian-Australian community, with Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean cultures all being represented there. Bridge Road in South Richmond is known for its discount shopping, with its large factory outlets and also small boutiques selling low-cost and vintage fashion.
Suburban areas for families to live in that are close to the city centre include Hawthorn and Sandringham. Hawthorn is an eastern suburb 10 minutes away from Melbourne city centre by train, and is home to top-tier public and private schools, as well as being surrounded by the Yarra River, which means there is a lot of open space to enjoy. As a beachside suburb of Melbourne, Sandringham is further out, but is still accessible to the city by train or car, which would take around 30-40 minutes. If you’re looking for a village feel and beachside living, then this is the spot for you, as the beach is at your doorstep, there are plenty of schools in the local area, and there is a shopping village close by. Melbourne has led the 2018 downturn in property prices along with Sydney, recorded twice as fast as the average by BIS Oxford Economics, and with further price falls expected for 2019.
Best Cities in Australia: Brisbane
Brisbane has become a cheaper city to live in compared to previous years, as it dropped 15 positions in a 2019 Worldwide Cost of Living Survey that measures the most expensive cities across the globe. It is Queensland’s Sunshine Capital and a leading city for culture, entertainment, and business, which would be why it snapped up a spot in the rankings for the 50 most liveable cities in the world, beating many European and US cities. Brisbane celebrate the different cultures and communities that have set up home there throughout the year by hosting Asian, Indian, Spanish, Greek, Italian and many other cultural festivals.
The top five employment industries in Brisbane as reported by the Brisbane City Council at the end of 2018, in order, were Health Care and Social Assistance, followed by Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, then Retail Trade, Education and Training, and Construction. Tourism and entertainment are forecasted to lead Brisbane’s economic growth, more specifically the cruise industry and film-making. In April 2019, it was reported that a new international cruise ship terminal worth $158 million will support an estimated 245 jobs per year during its construction and will go on to create further jobs.
Fun fact about Brisbane is that in April 2019 it was reported as a top location for shooting Hollywood films, commercials, and music videos. Perhaps it’s because of the tropical climate and scenic views, which you would have at your doorstep rather than on a TV screen if you decide on a move to Brisbane
You also have beautiful beaches to escape to in Brisbane, like Suttons Beach, which is a 40-minute drive away from the city, and Nudgee beach, which will take 20 minutes via car or 1 hour by train. A real Brisbane beauty is Bongaree Beach, which is a 1-hour car journey or a 2-hour train journey from the city centre, but travelling this little bit further means pure white sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Sought-after suburban areas in Brisbane that are at the pricier end of the market include Kangaroo Point, Gordon Park, and Petrie, where average house prices start at around $800,000. Kangaroo point is a riverside suburb east of Brisbane city and its central business district (CBD). It got a 9.2 rating out of 10 on an Australian website were residents rate Aussie suburbs and other places to live. A majority give it a high rating because of its closeness to the city and the CBD, which are both within walking distance, and because it is surrounded by the Brisbane River, so you can enjoy waterfront apartment living and river walkways. It is also favoured for being beside the Story Bridge and South Bank’s cafes, restaurants, and parklands.
Gordon Park is a northern suburb that is the smallest in Brisbane, but that has been ranked the best by residents due to its quietness and homeliness, which is favourable for families. It is distinctive for its character homes and pretty parklands, bordered by the Kedron Brook so there are lots of opportunities for walking, cycling, and running. It is also known for its top-tier private and state schools, which are only minutes away. The northern busway runs buses that will get you into the city in 15 minutes.
A recent report listed more affordable suburban areas in Brisbane that are still less than 10 km away from the city centre via the train line, which include Everton Park, Chermside West and Stafford Heights, where the average house price is around $600,000.Or, if you’re willing to travel between 10-20 km, houses in areas like Acacia Ridge, Durack, and Strathpine start at around $400,000. It is known that people are choosing Brisbane when moving to Australia because Sydney and Melbourne are too expensive.
Best Cities in Australia: Hobart
Housing demand in Hobart has increased. In fact, it was the only capital city to record a rise in property prices over the past year, whilst Melbourne and Sydney saw a decline Yahoo Finance reported in April 2019 that Hobart had the most property views per listing, ahead of all the bigger capital cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane. As the capital of the state of Tasmania, Hobart and Tasmania are said to be in high demand because of things that are better here than in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. Things like laidback living, cleaner green areas, less congestion and better safety. You can also get a better return on investments in Hobart properties than you would for Melbourne or Sydney properties.
As the most southerly situated city, Hobart doesn’t have as much of a warm climate as the other cities. However, on the plus side it has Mount Wellington as its backdrop, so there are lots of scenic trails for walking, cycling, mountain biking or climbing. If you’re an adventure seeker and nature lover who likes to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or are moving to Australia with children, Hobart is the spot for you to explore and take in scenic views or tire the little ones out. Hobart may be a small city, but it has a wide range of things in it, basically everything from city to countryside, to seaside living. In the city you would have plenty of art, culture, and cuisines to enjoy at the weekend markets, like the well-known Salamanca Market. Or you could escape to the countryside and explore Mount Wellington or Mount Nelson. You could live beside the seaside in Hobart, as it is known for its historic waterfront with its many seaside cafes, bars, and restaurants, which are favoured by locals.
The tourism, hospitality, and events industry in Hobart is said to be booming. It is forecasted to grow even further after it was announced in April 2019 that the Tasmanian Government has welcomed plans for a $100 million redevelopment of the Hobart International Airport, in addition to a $82.3 million investment to run border services for international flights. It is said that more jobs will be created because of the increasing number of tourists. Another project is the redevelopment of the historic 1836 Myer building in Hobart into a fashion, food, and lifestyle complex, with a hotel located above it. Situated in Hobart’s central business district, it is set to be the top Tasmanian retail destination, which will attract many locals and tourists. As a result, jobs in retail and hospitality will become more available. As Australia’s second oldest city, Hobart residents have rated it for being a good mix between the old and the new!
Best Cities in Australia: Our Pick of the Rest
More of the best cities in Australia to move to include Canberra, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth, each of which has its own distinctive qualities. Canberra doesn’t have the perk of beach-side living, as the closest beach is a couple of hours’ drive away, but as a small city there is a comforting community feel and there are many top-rated suburbs for families and professionals surrounding the city.
You are, however, able to enjoy city and beach-side living in cities like Adelaide and Perth, which are coastal capitals, and which have many beach-side suburbs close to the city. Adelaide outshone Brisbane and Perth in the rankings for the 50 most liveable cities in the world, taking up 10th position, whilst Perth, not far behind in 14th position, also beat Brisbane.
Darwin is distinctive for its natural beauty, as it is in the heart of Australia’s Northern Territory, with its desert-like landscapes, national parks like Kakadu and Litchfield, and of course its tropical climate. The city of Darwin is also modern and culturally diverse, and welcomes many internationals every year. The Charles Darwin University in the city has been found to be the most diverse in Australia.
Most people think of Melbourne or Sydney when moving to Australia, but these other cities are definitely under-rated!
We’ve talked about the best cities in Australia to move to but check out our blog on top ten reasons to move to Australia. Or, if you’ve already decided on an Aussie city, we have a starter guide on moving to Australia which will help you with sorting things like a visa, accommodation, healthcare and finances. If you’re looking for a smooth and stress-free relocation, our door-to-door luggage shipping service will remove the hassle of finding a removals company and paying excessive fees for their service.